It’s day 12 of the rafting trip. This trip through the Grand Canyon has been called “ a trip backwards through time” as the river cuts through progressively older strata. The days are hot, hovering at 110 degrees F., and the water coming straight out of Glen Canyon Dam is cold, around 50 degrees F. We have all become part of the desert and our worldly cares have melted away. Ahhh. We are deep in the canyon and it’s not my night to cook.
(But I am posting this as a draft and will store it to be published on a future date from my desk in Park City before we even launch at Lee’s Ferry, so the desert rat in me has yet to come out, nor have I felt the thrill of a dangerous-class rated rapid.)
Back to the river. Our coolers still have ice because we pre-froze them in the walk-in freezer at Deer Valley. But we are using more and more canned food each meal along with the now-thawing goods we broke into on Day 8. This particular recipe is sometimes called Curry from a Can because it uses groceries that will be edible on Day 15, my team’s last night in the kitchen and the night before take-out at Diamond Creek, garbanzo beans, coconut milk, canned pineapple, water chestnuts, button mushrooms and aseptic packages of tofu. We’ll serve our curry over whole wheat couscous because couscous cooks with just hot water, and therefore doesn’t use as much propane.
Enjoy my non-river trip version, with fresh vegetables from the CSA box or your garden, over steamed basmati brown rice.
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
12 to 16 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes or 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 potatoes, diced (1/2-inch)
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced (1/2-inch)
2 carrots, cut in ½-inch dice
1 (14 ounce) can lite coconut milk
1 zucchini, cut in ½-inch dice
1 bunch chard, kale or other green leafy vegetable, washed and stems removed.
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice, drained
2 cups toasted cashew pieces (salted OK)
Premix all the spices.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large (non-stick) skillet. Over high heat, cook and stir the tofu until it is golden on most sides. Remove from the pan.
Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining olive oil and the onion, cook and stir until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in ginger and garlic; cook another minute. Stir in the spice mixture and cook and stir constantly for another minute. Add the garbanzo beans and tomatoes with their juices, along with both potatoes and the carrots. Stir in the coconut milk. Cook, covered, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If the green leafy vegetable is kale, pre-cook the leaves in boiling, salted water until just about tender. Drain and chop coarsely. If the green leafy is chard, chop into 1-inch pieces. Add the greens and the zucchini, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, another 10 minutes or so.
Add the reserved cooked tofu and pineapple and heat an additional 5 minutes. Just before serving sprinkle the cashews over the top.
Serve with Patak’s Major Grey Chutney and plain yogurt.
Makes about 8 servings.
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